Managed services providers (MSPs) are used to fielding questions regarding image-based data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) from customers. While some of these concerns are valid, others are myths that need to be debunked by an MSP.

Strata Information Technology, Inc. President Pete Robbins spoke with us on common image-based myths from customers, and how he counters their worries.

Myth 1 -- If the backup chain breaks, I lose my data

"Until recently, image-based backups were dependent on previous snapshots called a chain," Robbins said. "If by chance a snapshot got corrupted or deleted your backup was lost."

To reduce the time needed to put a whole chain back together, Robbins said his company began using a BDR solution with inverse chain technology, which makes sure that each backup is itself a bootable image.

"This prevents the possibility of breaking the chain and also enables us to instantly boot the image for testing & recovery," he said.

Myth 2 -- If I send my image-based backups to the cloud, it will take forever to get my data back in the event of an emergency

Robbins said sending large amounts of data off site can take a long time, and it can seem even longer when you need to get it back fast , adding that the "base size of any small business server is at a minimum 60GB, and a business can easily get up to a terabyte of company data on top of that.

"What a business should look for is a hybrid solution where the backup is stored on a separate device locally and a copy is sent offsite," he said.

Myth 3-- Image-based backup solutions are too expensive for a small business

"A small business may struggle to just afford a server in their office. Having to buy what can amount to a second server is just not in the budget of some businesses," he said.

According to Robbins, his solution provider, Datto, "provides a solution designed for the budget conscious small business owner," providing "everything needed for a true business continuity solution, local virtualization and offsite storage at a very affordable monthly price."

Robbins spoke with us last month on how MSPs can differentiate themelves in an overcrowded BDR market.